Over the last 100 years, America has debated the merits of liberalism. The New Deal of the 1940s and the Great Society of the 1960s arguably left too many Americans worse off. Today, things are going off the rail, and it’s not just the economy. A dangerous and destructive far-left philosophy has seeped into America’s conscience.
I know it because I encounter it every day. Social media is much more potent than many conservatives are willing to give it credit. Many people get their news and information from these sites.
The one thing I can count on in a handful of Facebook groups is a few progressives ready to debate. Seemingly, they often contradict themselves, argue points other than the one presented, and dismiss anyone as far-right that dares offer an opposing point of view.
They’ve mastered the art of deflecting, dismissing, and attacking.
Some are looking for a rhetorical fight. Others have made up their minds they are right about everything, and their emotions rule over logic. Often, it’s unsettling to many who are not progressives but are eager to discuss topics. Many are unsure of how to engage when overheated conflict feels designed to squash instead of examine, so they shy away and watch from a distance.
Here’s the thing… I’m good with angry progressives, and you should be as well.
Here’s why… If you have a Facebook group of 1,000 people, it’s probably the same ten to twenty doing all the commenting. The majority are lurking, watching, and contemplating the arguments. These are the people we want to influence.
So how can we influence moderate voters?
By offering a genuine and sincere contrast.
Here’s an example of some things progressives have repeated Biden’s and the White House’s false claims that I’ve countered:
- Inflation has gone down – not it hasn’t. It’s still growing. Just because it was 9.6% last summer and 6.2% now doesn’t mean it declined. What it did was increase 6.2% over December 2021, which increased 7% over December 2020. It didn’t go down. It just didn’t rise as quickly.
- Inflation was high when Biden was inaugurated in January 2021. It was 2%, which the Federal Reserve says is healthy and is their target goal.
- Gas prices have gone down. Again, it’s the same talking point. When Biden took office, the national average was $2.39. Today, it’s $3.46, and economists predict it will rise to over $4 this summer.
- Republicans plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. They continue to peddle this misinformation despite House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) saying it’s off the table. It’s true a few on the extreme far-right want this, but there aren’t enough of them.
- Wages have risen. No, they haven’t. While people are getting raises, inflation significantly outpaces wage growth. As a result, wages have fallen to a 40-year low.
A new ABC poll will really get the Left stoked. It said 48% would support Donald Trump and 44% would support Biden if the presidential election were held today. So, all the demagoguing about threats to democracy and supposed GOP extremism have not worked. All it did was reinforce Democratic narratives among each other, harden their aggressiveness, and expose their own extremism.
Now, typically, I take more of an academic approach to my writing style. I usually include official government data or other respected sources.
Here’s what will typically happen once an article is posted. I support my position much like I would an academic paper, though not as detailed and not designed for a professor to grade. I also know that readers must be entertained to hold their interest. It’s just part of the gig.
Progressives will immediately attack conservative thought as propaganda, misinformation, or disinformation. I’ve been called a “crazy Republican,” F**k tard, and virtually any other derogatory name you can imagine. It must make them feel morally superior, or so it would seem. To be fair, some conservatives do this to liberals as well. I’m not one of them, nor do I believe anyone should behave this way.
Still, progressives rarely provide logical counterpoints. When they do, it’s often off-topic or laced with talking points disguised as research.
This opens the door to influence moderates.
Now, keep in mind that hundreds of people may be watching the interactions. Most of them were interested enough to watch the drama but not enough to put their thoughts in the thread.
A contrast does not occur by allowing them to throw out insane ideas or promote their narrative of “extremism” without a counterpoint. When conservatives let them get away with it, it enables progressives to create confusing discussions that lead to nowhere.
Instead, I challenge them. I want them to tell me specifically where I’m wrong. If I am, I’ll gladly own it. Rarely do they respond, which says all you need to know. When they do, it usually goes something like this:
- The sources I’m quoting weren’t reliable (like the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the White House Brief Room, etc.).They’ve even said the New York Times wasn’t reliable. Go figure.
- I’m a… racist, homophobe, trans hater, insurrectionist, crazy Republican, etc.
- I’m spewing misinformation or disinformation.
Again, they make bold, emotional claims but don’t point out how they support them, or they repeat talking points from liberal cable television, newspapers, or websites. It’s intellectual dishonesty, at best.
Anyone with any common sense observing the conversations can see what is happening for themselves.
As some continue to push an extreme left-wing narrative, it opens the door of contrast. Those in the middle won’t agree 100% with either side. Still, when it comes time to vote, they will have a choice.
Do they vote for the angry, loud progressive pushing things they disagree with?
Do they vote for the conservative whose views they generally agree with but don’t like the candidate’s temperament or liberal stigma?
The outcome of the 2022 midterm election gives us the answer.
I propose that, as a conservative, we don’t need to be angry. We should be logical and reasonable and ask a lot of questions. Most Americans are with us on the issues. Gallup noted that 36% of Americans identify as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 25% as liberal.
Yet, progressives are loud and give the appearance of something they are not — the majority viewpoint of America. Still, recent election results have emboldened the Left. It’s understandable. Republicans have put up bad candidates who either didn’t have a message to contrast with the Left or were too extreme on abortion.
The fact is, if conservatives put up good candidates who use common sense, we have an opportunity to pick up and hold elected offices across the country. They will look more representative of who we really are, and that’s not progressive Democrats.
We can sideline progressive ideologies to the basement, but it will take hard work, courage, and a willingness to challenge them respectfully. Don’t say it can’t be done because it can. You get the respect you give. Giving respect doesn’t mean not saying things that need to be told. It means doing it in a way that leaves the other side thanking you for informing them.
I know that’s my optimism coming through, but couldn’t we use a little these days?
The Conservative Era, Copyright 2023